SIMs for roaming

To revive this topic

@Liam can you throw this into Fintech Traveller?

I want to start a discussion on a Three in there :cowboy_hat_face: because it actually has really good international roaming, including destinations such as:

  • Hong Kong :hong_kong:
  • United States of America :eagle:
  • Vietnam :vietnam:
  • Thailand

And naturally all of the EEA countries and the regular additions :wink:

Has anyone got experience with them in the South West? (Bristol, Swindon, Bath areas) as well as Intl Usage?

I’m still not sure about Three for roaming. It works… to a point and there’s more destinations included than just the EU, but I’ve always found it disappointing.

I’ve just come back from two weeks in Poland where while I was in Kraków everything was fine - but out in the sticks, where they rely on the smaller of the networks, ‘Play’, then things got tricky. Voice and SMS were mostly there or there abouts… but data was just plain unreliable.

I give up on three by the end of week one and dug out my old Polish SIM card from before free EU roaming was a thing - ironically on ‘Play’, who, for their own customers have internal roaming agreements so you can use T-Mobile or Orange when there’s no native Play available.

Three didn’t work well for me in Las Vegas or San Francisco - though this was a couple of years ago when Roam like Home was new. Again it was the data.

I’ve ended up buying an Orange SIM in Spain because Three was just shite.

About the only place where things went well for Three was my stag do in Czechia earlier this summer.

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2016 with Three in Germany, the whole data network refused to work point blank… Calls and texts worked but data… Nope.

For me Three Roaming never worked properly in USA, Germany and Austria. Slightly embarrassing for me I ended tethering to my clients phone in Vienna (he was on Vodafone and Roaming) because 3 was throttled so much it was barely useable.

I now use EE on a sim only Max plan and a PAYG Truphone sim as a backup.

Conversely to all the comments so far, I’ve had really good experiences with Three’s roaming since late 2014, including two major trips to Australia; East and West coast US; Austria and Spain. To my huge surprise, I got 4G+ in Fuertaventura

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They might have changed their policy as of recent - they informed me on Twitter they had 4G roaming in 50+ destinations :thinking:

All works fine for me in the US and many other countries, but it is nowhere near as fast as a local SIM.
Usable for messaging, facetime is more hit and miss.

If I don’t get roaming as a part of my next contract I’d want to go with EE probably :thinking: just so I can get eSIM and get texts to my UK number while abroad instead of fiddling with SIMs

Doesn’t really matter what type of network you’re connected to if the tunnel back to Three in the UK is throttled to within an inch of it’s life.

I am looking forward to eSIMs becoming more widely available. Been keeping an eye on Play in Poland - they’re working on it, apparently.

I think the providers that offer them in the UK only offer them on contracts, not PAYG.

I am happy with a real SIM for my contract - the eSIM functionality would be great for additional services.

I’d want eSIM for main then travel physical as this’d make everything so easy, tbh

Used 3 in LA a few years back.
Awfully slow but allowed us to get Ubers. I think I’ll pick up a local SIM when in Florida next year.

my experience is the asian country’s local sim is 10x faster and 10x cheaper so just get a little sim box/wallet and deal with the sim swap.

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I’d also second that I had an awful experience with Three in the US. They’re really sneaky because they whitelist Speedtests so it appears they’re providing a quick service where in fact they’ve throttles their life out of the connection to be barely useful. The worst thing is they even denied this for years when asked via customer care or social media.

Not Three. It is £2 a minute for calls

I’ve been with Three for years. in the UK it is great, but definitely not the best for roaming.

6 weeks in Italy with Three and I had to go and get a local SIM card because Three was horrendous there. Three have there own Italian Network which actually only covers 80% of the country, however they don’t have roaming agreements with other Networks so if you are not in a coverage area you get no coverage. So for me that would have meant 6 weeks of having to go and stand in the middle of town to use my phone.

I’ve also had similar problems with Three in other countries.

Three has always worked fine for me in the US. To be honest, I haven’t even noticed what sort of speeds I get - it’s possible it isn’t as fast as at home or if I was using a US SIM card. I’m just happy having data and minutes to use without having to worry about costs. I remember pre-Three when I would either do without data when I’m out and about or I’d buy a cheap phone with a top-up.

I’ve never had a problem with Three in Germany either: never paid much attention to speed of other issues, but just continued using my phone as usual without any issues

I’ve actually found one of the best for roaming especially in Europe is Lycamobile. They have Network agreements with most countries, and proper agreements, so you are using Lycamobile in that country, rather than using a specific roaming partner.

They are the worlds largest MVNO for a reason, and it shows.

I went to 4 countries in the 6 weeks I was spending in Italy, 4G+ in all 4 countries with Lycamobile. With Three it was 3G and 4G with a few cities giving 4G+

I also use Three at home for my broadband… I absolutely HATE it, routinely I have to load up a VPN as Three have somehow managed to block some weird apps and content!?

Dad can’t access Microsoft Solitaire on his phone, I couldn’t use Airtime Rewards and I still can’t use the Zevvle app over my Three wifi without loading up my VPN.

Also the wifi HATES and won’t connect to Xbox Live. I can only get it to work with the guest account using no security at all.

I’ve even had the adult filter turned off just in case it was that messing with it all to no avail.

Bizarre. No issue accessing Zevvle app over 3 here. How much are you paying a month?
Might be worth putting one of those free 3 sims that have a little bit of data on them in your router to see if the problem goes away?

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